Hipcamp host Dean W.,
Hosted by

IMPORTANT: If you book this campsite, you will receive detailed directions and other important information after you book and when you log into your Hipcamp account. Please ensure you read that.      

If you’re looking for a campsite where you can interact or see other campers, this campsite isn’t for you. You’ll have LOTS of privacy here.  You may see other campers on


IMPORTANT: If you book this campsite, you will receive detailed directions and other important information after you book and when you log into your Hipcamp account. Please ensure you read that.      

If you’re looking for a campsite where you can interact or see other campers, this campsite isn’t for you. You’ll have LOTS of privacy here.  You may see other campers on the trails to the waterfalls but you'll still have lots of seclusion.  

This is a sister site to 2 of my other sites on the same property along the Bad River; "Eagle Pines on the Bad River" and "Balsam Shores on the Bad River".  In the national forest, there is no camping allowed within 75 feet of water but here you will be camping about 15 feet from the water. This is a hike in tent site that is less than 1/4 mile from the parking area and should take about 5 minutes to hike to camp.   

With a 1 minute walk downriver there is another area by some rapids to set up tents if you need additional space.

This will be a tent site with an enclosed pit toilet with a toilet seat, a canoe, a picnic table, a fire ring, and a grill to cook on.  As I expand the site, I may have some cut firewood for you to use. There are plastic chairs at the fire area and I'll also have some large blocks of wood cut to use for sitting on around the fire. 

At the site is the largest white pine on my property with a circumference of 13 feet.  Next to this tree is where the Stingray tree tent will be. 

Within a 3 minute hike are one of the nearby waterfalls and with another 1/2 mile hike north & downriver is another set of falls. If you're more adventurous, there is the largest falls in the general area that is about a 2 1/2 mile hike each way on the abandoned railroad tracks. Or, you can drive to within a 3/4 mile hike of this falls by driving north of Cayuga on Hwy 13 and turning left/West on the next road (Forest Road 184/Conley Road) and driving west until you come to the bridge and tracks and parking there to hike 3/4 mile north on the railroad tracks. Cross 3 railroad bridges and look for the trail on the left about 100 yards north of the 3rd bridge.

There are Brook Trout in the river and the best way to catch them is with a #1 spinner or with a sinker and worms below the waterfalls in the deeper pools.

The river is great for swimming with clean water and a hard sand bottom as we have no farm fields for erosion in our headwaters. The river water is great for using a water filter for drinking.

There is no Poison Ivy, no Poison Oak, and no poisonous snakes or spiders in this area.  

Bears or bear sign have never been seen at the campsite because campers have been very good about having no food in their tents or eating in tents.  There is a 3 gallon ammo can at the campsite to use for storing food.  If you have food waste or food wrappers, please burn it completely in the fire ring.  

I have now extended the hiking trail past the first waterfalls that will follow the river and eventually lead to the railroad tracks instead of having to backtrack on the same trail to get back to the tracks. Then, once you get to the tracks, if you turn right you will head towards waterfalls #2 and if you turn left you will head back towards the campsite.  The hiking map won't reflect the trail extension.    

There are numerous signs posted for directions to the campsite and the waterfalls.  There will also be a map for you at the campsite  (in the ammo can) to locate the waterfalls.  There are good options for hammock trees here also.   

The Drop Tine Bar & Grill in Cayuga 1  1/2 miles away from the parking area has great food and drinks.  Their business hours are posted on the door and you can check that on the way in as it's right on the way to the campsite. 

This is the woods and wilderness, not a populated campground where there is an insect control program.  The bugs could be minimal or they could be bad since this is a woods.  Insect numbers depend on many variables including how much rain we've had, how cold or warm the weather is, or insect hatch efficiency.  I'm sorry but I cannot control how good or bad the bugs are and can't issue refunds if the bugs are beyond your tolerance.  There have been no mosquitos after mid-August. 

I will set the refund policy for 100% up to 3 days prior to check in.  Please do a check on the weather outlook at least 3 days before you arrive to see if the weather will be nice for at least part of your stay.  If you cancel within 3 days before your arrival, I am sorry but the system won't provide a refund.  If you need to cancel, please cancel at least 3 days prior to your arrival date so you can be refunded and others can have a better chance to schedule a stay.  Thank you for understanding this.

As a heads-up, this probably isn’t a good campsite if you need to have many items at the site that you would have to carry from your vehicle. It’s a 1/4 mile hike over irregular terrain from the parking area to the campsite. There are wet areas, rough/rocky areas, and hills on the path to the campsite. There is no paved or gravel path. IMPORTANT: Detailed directions and other important info should be provided after you book but, do not turn at the blue address sign, turn right 150 feet past the blue address sign which would be right after the gravel pit. Please read the directions carefully.  IMPORTANT: When you see the blue address sign, go past that sign 150 feet and turn right after the gravel pit. Then drive 1/4 m mile to the parking area.  Do not turn at the blue address sign.  Thanks.

So that you are aware;  Hipcamp will be adding a "service fee" (15-20%) when you complete the booking to cover their site management and other things that is somewhat a high %.  I believe it's excessive and I just realized they did this in March 2021.  I don't get any of this service fee and they also take an additional 10% from the price I list to cover the $1 million in insurance for you.  The total % Hipcamp gets is 25-30% which I and other folks that offer campsites do not appreciate as we have discussed this on social media sites for Hipcamp hosts.  I am very sorry for this and I will do everything I can to ensure you enjoy this very special wilderness on the Bad River.    

Campsite area
Bring your own tents
1 site
Up to 16 guests per site
Moderate walk
No wheelchair access
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Pets allowed
Kitchen available
Picnic table available
No potable water
No showers
No wifi
Pack it out
Laundry absent
Have a question? Send Dean a message!
  • Check in: After 12PM
  • Check out: Before 11AM
  • Cancellation policy: Moderate
  • On arrival: Go straight to camp
  • Minimum nights: 1 night
  • Accepts bookings: 9 months out


Offered on the Host's property or nearby.


Great mountain biking on the local forest roads and ATV trails.


Brook Trout, Northern Pike, Rock Bass, and Shiners/Chubs are in the river.


A canoe and paddles are at the campsite for you to enjoy. I have no life jackets so please bring those if you prefer to wear t...Read more

Off-roading (OHV)

Within 1 mile of the main ATV trail to Clam Lake and Hayward.


Hard sand bottom in the river for swimming.

Whitewater paddling

There are very challenging whitewater rapids downriver and a great kayak trip would be from the Cayuga Bridge to Mellen which i...Read more

Wildlife watching


Natural features you'll find at Bad River Point in Wisconsin.


Very close to the national forest.


5 minute hike to one of the 3 nice waterfalls in the area.

River, stream, or...
Swimming hole

Places to see near Bad River Wilderness

20 Reviews

This listing has no reviews yet.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper Sean
Sean K.
recommends this listing.
October 4th, 2021

A great campsite in a beautiful location with a helpful host. There is a small space for your own tent if the tree tent isn’t your thing.

Hipcamper Sam

Great location

Sam O.
recommends this listing.
September 20th, 2021

The site was beautiful, on a very nice bend in the river. It was so nice falling asleep to the sound of the mini rapids next to the site. Be aware that the tree tent had a pretty decent amount of wear and tear to it, but it was comfortable and quite the unique experience. Overall, a good stay.

Hipcamper Jordan


Jordan W.
recommends this listing.
September 5th, 2021

This site is beautiful and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a peaceful getaway. Gorgeous scenery and so nice to fall asleep to the sound of the waterfalls. Also caught some fish.

Hipcamper Kaili

Gorgeous, private and perfect!

Kaili D.
recommends this listing.
August 15th, 2021

Most beautiful place we’ve ever camped, absolutely loved it!

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Hipcamper Mayuly

Ultimatetranquility and convenience

Mayuly N.
recommends this listing.
August 9th, 2021

This is a rare find. Your tent is already set up, and a cooking area is in place (along with all the firewood you'll need) so you really only need your personal belongings and food. You just cant beat the privacy and location, directly on the river, where you can hear the water from your tent while you sleep. The provided canoe is the best part, allowing you to explore the river. If you have independent kids (old enough to hike short distances) this is the ultimate adventure location for the weekend. I'm a huge supporter of the state park system, but you just cant beat the solitude and riverfront access. We bathed in the river and brought a camp shower, with no issues. And the vault toilet was clean and not at all dirty. Fantastic short or long term getaway. The owner has really put a lot of time and effort into a fabulous stay. Thank you Dean!

Hipcamper Jennifer
Jennifer H.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
August 2nd, 2021

Absolutely gorgeous spot on the Bad River. We enjoyed hiking along the abandoned railroad track to the different waterfalls. The 3rd one that was 2.5 miles one way was our favorite! It only took us 50 minutes to walk there & it was a great place to take a dip. We appreciated Dean’s quick responses to our messages. The only downfall was that it rained the night we were there and the tree tent had a few leaks. Also somehow mosquitos were entering the tent throughout the night. We had our own tent with us which we ended up using instead. I did let Dean know about these issues so he can remedy them for future guests.

Hipcamper Jamee

Great outdoors adventure

Jamee N.
recommends this listing.
July 22nd, 2021

It was a peaceful spot in nature. Loved having fires, listening to the rapids of the water and birds.

Hipcamper Guinevere

Beyond wonderful!

Guinevere M.
recommends this listing.
July 11th, 2021

What an incredibly beautiful spot with such a cool tent and set-up in general, and on top of that with an absolutely golden host. I know after I write this review I will remember more things I should have said, so up-front let me just say that every other great review on this site, yes, what they said too! There is so much to see in the near vicinity, the falls are gorgeous, the woods are beautiful, and I have so many great memories of just being in that beautiful place. The camp was well-stocked with wood and I made most of our meals over the fire (much more successfully after Dean, our host, kindly and effectively showed me how to build a fire!) Temperatures were lovely, we lucked out with warmish/cool days, and almost non-existent bugs. The location of the site is almost on a peninsula...not just on the river, but tucked in a bend with the river almost on 3 sides. The river is so fun to swim in, the bottom of it is varied between sand, large smooth rocks, and vegetation but all neat textures, nothing icky lol, and the rapids are like your own personal jacuzzi. The weather was perfect for swimming...warm in the sun and then cool in the water.
I camped with my 2 boys (ages 12 and 16 and both can swim) and the canoe was also lots of fun, and the river is so calm, I never felt worried with the boys.
Falling asleep in the tree tent at night after listening to the birds sing, while the rapids gurgled, was a beautiful end to every day.

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Hipcamper Jesse

Holey tent and uncompromising host

Jesse G.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
July 8th, 2021

Lets start with this property's strengths - the location is calm next to the river and the tent and camp set up is cool with canoe and raised fire pit..
HOWEVER - The tent has a rain cover that is not able to be removed (from host and from trying) leaving the July heat and lack of shaded sun heat to cook the inside of the tent.
I was hopeful it would cool off as night set in - but quckly realized how that was not going to happen. I tried to vent it through the bottom door of the tent, and again by flapping the rain cover - with little to no success.
When i got fed up - (overheating=no sleep) I inspected the rain fly to try and remove and noticed 3 sizeable holes in the tent walls beneath the rain cover
- This was a major concern for a few reasons:
1. Bugs near the river and im this heat are inherently insufferable so having a hole-proof tent is essential in the summer.
2. I had noticed earlier on that many bugs were resting and crawling between the rain cover and tent - and them realzied these bugs would have multiple entries into the tent.
3. With these holes, I realized I will be sleeping with bugs regardless and unfortunately If i wanted ventilation -- this would only allow easier access to my flesh and blood for mosquitos.

As someone who has been traveling and rustic camping for the shorter part of a year - I can handle some bugs and some heat - these are not the issues - but rather the holes in the tent and major lack of air flow making my stay insufferable. Let me say - waking up after 2hrs mac of sleep and finding 50+ new bug bites (and yes I bathed in bug spray) was very frustrating.

I packed up my load and headed to my car as I realized this would not be an easy fix.

I messaged the host, Dean, who said he would drive 2 hours that day to come check it out after i told him I had already left. - As a traveler I am a quick thinker when it comes to drive times and destinations, so at this point I had booked a new place and could not afford to waste 2 hours waiting on a problem that may or may not be fixed.

I mesaaged Dean sharing my concerns and constructive cristicism and asked for a refund for the 2 wasted nights - or even just the last night - and his repsonse was condescending and rude.
He excalimed that he cannot control heat nor weather (obviously I know this and this was not the issue)
and refused to consider a refund and implied that having a bad stay was my fault.

As far as my past experiences with Hipcamp as well as Airbnb - Hosts and guests have an amicable relationship where constructive cristicism is welcomed and hosts take accountabity for issues with the lodging.

In Dean's defense - He said he was unaware of these tent holes before my stay - understandable - what frustrates me is that he admitted there were holes and issues - Yet still blamed mother nature and my lack of preparedness.

The site has a ton of potential but is not tolerable for the hot summer months unless you have a portable fan or AC unit -- But carrying these over a railway and through an uneven path might be more trouble than it is worth.

Bad River Wilderness
United States
1 Site

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